Here we are, Day 13 of Spoopfest. For the final Halloween review this year I’m throwing it back to a film which holds fond memories for me. It was the end of winter term in my second year at university, I was hanging out with friends before we all went our separate ways for Christmas. We bought Christmas pudding from the reduced section of the local Co-op, accidentally spilled rum sauce all over my boyfriend’s kitchen, and watched Mega Piranha. It was one of those films where you laugh until you cry.
So, our story begins in Venezuela. It’s Venezuela. We’re in Venezuela. There are like five different establishing shots of Venezuela back to back just to really make sure we’ve all got our bearings. Some random Venezuelans might be having a sexy time by the Orinoco River, or cruising with politicians and prostitutes, but their days are cut short by a deadly swarm of CGI. It’s- you guessed it- a school of mega piranha! Like piranha but less dimensional (they aren’t 2D but they also aren’t really 3D half the time either) and genetically modified to be bigger. Who would go out of their way to engineer that? The DVD cover says they were “created to save mankind” but I remember none of that conversation in the film.
Special Agent Fitch is dispatched to investigate using, and I quote from the Wikipedia page, “the diplomacy of his fist”. Aww yiss. He rolls around on the riverbanks, kicking mega piranhas off and delivering cool lines like “what the f*ck”. He doesn’t say it like a question, more like a way of life. He’s joined by scientist Sarah Monroe (who’s Tiffany of I Think We’re Alone Now fame. Is she still singing? One of her songs is used in the end credits but also we were too busy reeling from the film we’d just seen to really take it in).
There’s all sorts of crap going on in this film, it’s delightful. Like how during a car chase the cars change models several times, or the conversation between Fitch and Tiffany in which the sign for the airport turns from a metal plaque to a cardboard sign then back to the plaque. The piranha are meant to double in size constantly but it’s so inconsistent, and the scientists keep comparing the increasing sizes to animals which are roughly the same size, like a horse and a rhino. That’s- that’s not doubling in size, is it. Ooh! And the army’s way to kill the piranha is via a nuclear strike?
One of my lasting memories of this film is the attack on Florida by the piranha. They’re massive at this stage and one of them just hurls itself from the river and instantly impales itself on a flagpole (with minimal computerised gore, don’t worry). It’s like even the piranha were looking for a way out of this nonsensical film. The cast includes a character called Half Dead Person. Disaster films don’t get much more schlockbuster than this.
Spoopy Rating: 3/3 Mega Piranha, need I justify it?